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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings in Singapore offered more than 30 forums at which delegates and representatives of civil society organizations and private companies, as well as IMF and World Bank officials, debated a number of thorny economic and social issues. The 2006 Program of Seminars, September 16–18, covered such topics as oil prices, aging populations, Asian integration, and corporate governance. Highlights of some of the seminars follow:

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

How can the development community advance the use of ethical thinking in the cause of economic and social progress? Opening the Ethics and Development Day conference held at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on January 16, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Amartya Sen proposed a more active, participatory role for citizens in applying ethics to further sustainable development.

International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines inflation dynamics over the past five years for Lithuania. A decomposition of inflation into its components provides clues to its main causes. It shows that energy price increases and convergence to European Union (EU)-wide price levels have been important factors driving inflation, but domestic demand pressures—and wage growth, in particular—have also contributed to inflation. The types of possible efficiency gains are illustrated in the context of health care and social assistance. The paper also examines migration and its long-term fiscal implications.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) on the Republic of Croatia highlights fiscal policy and monetary and financial sector policies. The policy implementation under this SBA has yielded sizable fiscal consolidation and advances in structural reforms, despite some snags. The authorities have taken a number of measures to discourage external borrowing, address foreign currency-related credit risk, and strengthen supervision. The health reform aims at improving the financial situation in the sector and rationalizing public spending on health.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on United States 2012 Article IV Consultation discusses rebound of manufacturing production. The U.S. share in global manufacturing production declined through most of the past three decades, but it has stabilized since the Great Recession. It currently represents about 20 percent of global manufacturing value added. Interestingly, after a sharp increase during most of the previous decade, China’s share in global manufacturing has also stabilized since the Great Recession, at a level similar to that of the United States. The notion of a manufacturing renaissance has been fuelled partly by the rebound in production since the end of the Great Recession.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Alively discussion developed over desirable economic and governmental reforms at a recent seminar organized by the IMF and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) for parliamentarians and members of consultative councils from the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)— Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Part of the context was the below-potential economic growth of the region and the associated stagnation of real per capita incomes in recent decades.

Jorge Coarasa, Jishnu Das, and Jeffrey Hammer

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Samuel Paul

This paper elaborates the introduction of surveillance that gave the IMF broader responsibilities with respect to oversight of its members’ policies than existed under the par value system. The IMF’s purview has been broadened under the new system but, by the same token, its members are no longer obliged to seek its concurrence in changes in exchange rates. The continuing volatility of exchange rates, and their prolonged divergence from levels that appear to be sustainable over time, have been matters of growing concern.